Brown Dog Breeds

From the famous Labrador retriever to the petite dachshund, there are lots of dog breeds that come in brown shades. Some of these breeds have long, fluffy hair while others have short, coarse fur. They range widely in size and shape, temperament, and activity level. What unites them is they all possess genes that produce brown coats.

Here are 15 of the most popular brown dog breeds.


There is much more to deciding which breed is right for you than just coat color. Learn about typical breed traits and then visit with the individual dog to make sure its characteristics will fit with your lifestyle.

Labrador Retriever

A chocolate Lab with its tongue hanging out lying in the grass with a tennis ball

Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

Those who have a Labrador retriever know how amazing these pups are. Their goofy personalities, playful temperaments, and kind souls make them a popular choice for companion pets among families all around the world. Labs are big, bulky dogs who love to run, play, and especially swim. They are best suited to active family homes. They come in three solid coat colors including chocolate.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 22.5 to 24.5 inches (male); 21.5 to 23.5 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 65 to 80 pounds (male); 55 to 70 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Short, dense double coat; comes in black, chocolate, or yellow

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

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American Staffordshire Terrier

Headshot of an American Staffordshire terrier

Melanie Florez-Kratunis / Getty Images

American Staffordshire terriers, sometimes known as “Staffies” or “Am Staffs,” are generally affectionate goofballs despite their tough outward look. They are among breeds known generally as pit bulls. While careful introductions are sometimes needed with other pets, they are often unfailingly loyal dogs with lots of energy, making them good for an active family. Their short, stiff coat can come in a variety of brown shades.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Terrier (AKC)

HEIGHT: 18 to 19 inches (male); 17 to 18 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 55 to 70 pounds (male); 40 to 55 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Short coat; comes in a variety of colors including black, brown, blue, fawn, red, and liver; brindle pattern and or white markings also possible

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 16 years

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A brown dachshund lying on a bed

Teresa Lett / Getty Images

If you’re looking for a small companion pooch, consider a dachshund. Also known as wiener dogs or doxies, dachshunds are sweet, loving pups in a tiny package. They’re longer than they are tall, but they make up for their lack of height with their bright personalities. Dachshunds are typically seen in shades of brown, though several other color combinations are possible as well.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound (AKC)

HEIGHT: 8 to 9 inches (standard); 5 to 6 inches (miniature)

WEIGHT: 16 to 32 pounds (standard); up to 11 pounds (miniature)

COAT AND COLOR: Coat varieties include smooth (shorthaired), longhaired, and wire-haired; colors include (but not limited to) black, tan, fawn, beige, blue, chocolate, and red; various markings such as dapple, piebald, brindle, and sable

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 16 years

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Brown standard poodle standing in the dunes in front of the sea

Cavan Images / Getty Images

The popular poodle comes in three different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles are generally delightfully playful and affectionate dogs. And because of their fierce intelligence and athletic prowess, they are best suited to a home that can offer them ample physical and mental enrichment. Their curly coat does require a fair amount of grooming. And while white is a common color, poodles also can come in brown among other shades.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: Standard: over 15 inches; miniature: 10 to 15 inches; toy: 10 inches and under

WEIGHT: Standard: 45 to 70 pounds; miniature: 15 to 18 pounds; toy: 5 to 9 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Curly, dense single coat; one of many solid colors including but not limited to white, black, gray, brown, and apricot

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 18 years

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A boxer dog lying in the grass and looking into the distance

Westend61 / Getty Images

Energetic and lovable, the boxer is a wonderful companion. Just make sure you have enough room and energy to exercise such an athletic and large pup. A boxer’s coat is shiny and smooth, and it requires little grooming. A weekly brushing should suffice to remove loose fur. Boxers are commonly seen in shades of brown from tan to mahogany.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Working (AKC)

HEIGHT: 23 to 25 inches (male); 21.5 to 23.5 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 65 to 80 pounds (male); females about 15 pounds less than males

COAT AND COLOR: Short coat; fawn and brindle are standard colors; standard markings include a black mask, black mask with white markings, and white markings

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10 to 12 years

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Brown longhaired chihuahua sitting in a park

Kurt Pas / Getty Images

Chihuahuas may be tiny, but they make up for it in attitude. They are confident and affectionate, and they can be perfect companions for people who aren’t able to exercise a large, athletic dog breed. Even so, chihuahuas still need regular walks or play sessions to stay happy and healthy. Both the long and short coat varieties don’t require excessive grooming. They are often seen in tan but can be deeper chocolate as well.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 5 to 8 inches

WEIGHT: Up to 6 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Smooth (short) or long coat; comes in either solid or a combination of two colors; most common colors include black, tan, fawn, cream, white, blue, silver, chocolate, and red

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 14 to 16 years

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Basset Hound

A basset hound out in the woods

James Heifner / EyeEm / Getty Images

Basset hounds are known for being affectionate and mild-mannered, but you might have to work to achieve a solid recall as they can have a stubborn streak. Moreover, their long ears and skin folds are prone to infections, so regular cleaning is necessary. Although it is possible to see bassets in solid brown, this is not accepted in the American Kennel Club breed standard. A white-and-tan mix is the most common coat.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound (AKC)

HEIGHT: Up to 15 inches

WEIGHT: 40 to 65 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Short coat; color combinations of black/mahogany, white, brown/tan, red, and yellow

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 13 years

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Shiba Inu

A Shiba Inu dog standing in the sand with its mouth open

chendongshan / Getty Images

The Shiba Inu is an ancient Japanese breed that was used in hunting. Eventually, the breed came to the United States where it steadily gained traction thanks to its intelligence and quiet nature. Shibas rarely bark. But that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone, as they can be rather aloof and strong-willed. While they don’t come in dark brown shades, they most commonly are seen in a shade of reddish tan.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 14.5 to 16.5 inches (male); 13.5 to 15.5 inches (female)

WEIGHT: Around 23 pounds (male); around 17 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Stiff and straight outer coat; soft and thick undercoat; three color types: red, black and sesame, black and tan

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 13 to 16 years

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Australian Shepherd

A brown Australian shepherd running in the grass


Pure athleticism: That’s the best way to describe Australian shepherds, affectionately known as Aussies. These dogs are medium-size, but they need more exercise than most dog breeds. Aussies love working, whether it be herding sheep or zipping through agility courses. So they are ideal for active families or farmers who need a helping hand. Aussies can sport several different coat colors, including a beautiful reddish brown one.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Herding (AKC)

HEIGHT: 20 to 23 inches (male); 18 to 21 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 50 to 65 pounds (male); 40 to 55 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Medium to long coat; comes in blue merle, red merle, black, or red; all colors may have white markings and/or tan (copper) points

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 15 years

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A fluffy Pomeranian sitting in the sand

Ekaterina Goncharova / Getty Images

Pomeranians are adorable furballs that can be amazing companions for the right person. These dogs aren’t for everyone they can be quite bossy but they can make great pals with solid training and socialization. Pomeranians are quite recognizable because of their long, puffy coat that comes in a variety of colors, including brown. Their grooming regimen is, understandably, quite high maintenance.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 6 to 7 inches

WEIGHT: 3 to 7 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Long, double coat; comes in many colors including red, orange, cream, sable, black, brown, and blue

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 16 years

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Great Dane

Fawn Great Dane lying in the grass

Bigandt_Photography / Getty Images

If you’re in the market for an especially large dog, look no further. Towering Great Danes take the Guinness World Record for the world’s tallest dog. Despite their imposing size, Danes are generally friendly pups. They love to play, but perhaps as equally they love to laze around on the sofa (if there is room) with their humans. Their coat is fairly low-maintenance and is often seen in a lighter shade of brown.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Working (AKC)

HEIGHT: 30 to 32 inches (male); 28 to 30 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 140 to 175 pounds (male); 110 to 140 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Short coat; comes in brindle, fawn, blue, black, harlequin (white with black patches), or mantle (black and white)

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 7 to 10 years

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Saint Bernard

A big Saint Bernard dog lying in the grass

Filip Micovic / Getty Images

Another big, lumbering pup is the lovable Saint Bernard. The breed has a history of being search-and-rescue dogs and is still used in that field today. Saint Bernards are also lovable companions and loyal protectors of their favorite humans. Just be prepared to care for such large dogs (and their habit of excessive drooling). They need to brush at least weekly to prevent all their loose fur from getting everywhere. Their coat is often a brown shade with white.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Working (AKC)

HEIGHT: 28 to 30 inches (males); 26 to 28 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 140 to 180 pounds (male); 120 to 140 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Dense coat that may be short and smooth or long and silky; colors include white with red, brown, or brindle markings; black “mask” is typically seen

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 8 to 10 years

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A longhaired collie dog standing in a misty field

关心 / Getty Images

Many people know collies because the breed was used to depict one of the most iconic dogs on television: Lassie. The breed is generally gentle and sweet but also alert, intelligent, and courageous. Collie coats come in rough and smooth varieties. Smooth coats are less likely to mat than rough coats, but they both still need regular brushing. The coats often come in rich shades of brown with white.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Herding (AKC)

HEIGHT: 24 to 26 inches (male); 22 to 24 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 60 to 75 pounds (male); 50 to 65 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Rough variety: straight, harsh, abundant outer coat and soft undercoat; smooth variety: short, hard, dense, flat outercoat and soft undercoat; colors include sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, or white

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 12 to 14 years

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Chow Chow

Closeup of a chow chow face

Iurii / Getty Images

Chow chows are instantly recognizable because of their voluminous coat, lion-like appearance, and purple-black tongue. They are low-key, independent, and fairly aloof dogs, but they also can be incredibly loyal to their people. Their coat should be brushed at least twice a week to prevent mats, working all the way down to the undercoat. Chows come in varying shades of brown from a light cream to darker cinnamon.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)

HEIGHT: 17 to 20 inches

WEIGHT: 45 to 70 pounds

COAT AND COLOR: Rough or smooth coat; colors include black, blue, cinnamon, cream, or red

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 8 to 12 years

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German Shepherd

A German shepherd dog lying in the fall leaves

Kristin Castenschiold / Getty Images

German shepherds are often utilized as working dogs, especially in law enforcement and search-and-rescue. They are also well suited to be service dogs. They are intelligent, athletic, and unfailingly loyal. However, early and ongoing socialization and training are important for this powerful breed due to its strong guarding traits. A German shepherd’s coat should be brushed weekly to remove loose fur. It can feature light to dark shades of brown.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Herding (AKC)

HEIGHT: 24 to 26 inches (male); 22 to 24 inches (female)

WEIGHT: 65 to 90 pounds (male); 50 to 70 pounds (female)

COAT AND COLOR: Coarse, medium-length double coat; colors include black and tan, black and cream, black and red, black and silver, solid black, gray, and sable

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 7 to 10 years


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